Welcome to JTC Inc.

Chaps: because if they had an ass, they'd just be called pants.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Some e-Recognition

Much like many large multinational corporations, the company we work for has an employee recognition process to promote employee satisfaction in the workplace. Today, I am initiating the ‘JTC Employee Recognition Program’. The first recipients of this award are Coco T. Monkey and JohnnyM:

Congratulations on the top-rate blog entries over the past two weeks. Other things you need to be recognized for:

- setting up a revenue source for JTC. This takes us one step closer to the dream self-employment with zero accountability.
- creating a business model which invests and promotes employee drinking events FOR revenue generation. You’d be hard pressed to find any other company that does the same.
- showing up for your real jobs even when you’re not on vacation. That takes skill.
- wearing pants to your real jobs.
- choosing to urinate in the designated washroom facilities, instead of wherever you feel like it (that’s one of many things that separates you from other employees/animals) .

There are more, but that’s enough recognition for one week. Get back to work.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

JTC Inc. announces second quarter 2006 results

Toronto – JTC announced net income of $12.51 for the second quarter ended April 30, 2006. Return on equity was infinity, because honestly, we've invested nothing in this. Diluted earnings per share (EPS) were zero, which included total after-drinking gains of zero per share.

Update on business priorities

"We're announcing second quarter earnings before the quarter end simply based on our revenue prediction models. Ballsy? We thought so. We made solid progress during the quarter against our key priority of making money to go drinking with (see business model released March 26, 2006). The inclusion of Google Adsense to our model has been effective in building business strength, improving productivity and strengthening our balance sheet," says Coco T. Monkey, one of JTC's executive Officers. "On our total to-date earnings of $0.67, day-over-day growth was 134% on average, yielding an expected second quarter income of $12.51."

Maintaining and building business strength

JTC continues to be well positioned. JTC's joke-making businesses are expected to continue to leverage Adsense's strong income capabilities to bring enhanced performance and build balance sheet strength. Low employment enjoyment and interest in the canadian workplace, together with strong needs to dissolve workplace-related boredom should continue to encourage volume growth in joke making and joke reading.

The outlook for our businesses remains positive, driven by expectations for extraordinary growth based on historical performance. "It's going to be one hell of a May-24 weekend," says Monkey. "However, shareholders should not be concerned over near-term spending plans, as at these forecasted growth rates, we will have in excess of a million dollars for capital spending in the third quarter."

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Extreme Drunkeness For No Discernable Reason

On Friday, March 24th, the JTC Executive again ventured out into the murky world of Toronto pubs to generate some ideas for both of our readers to enjoy. For some reason or another - as frequently happens at these "idea generation events" - I got completely ripped. We're talking come home and pass out on the couch still wearing your shoes for 6 hours ripped. I think I may have a problem (with shoe removal).

No matter - as always, The Notebook was with us, so our fantastic ideas were recorded. Here we go:

- "Hire a part time stenographer. Job postings - must be able to read back jokes" - this relates to the fact that sometimes we have trouble keeping up with the recording of the volume of jokie comments that are made. If we hired someone to come out with us, they could write down everything for us. We could post this job as part of our fake job postings (see St. Paddy's Day post). I also think it would be damn cool to be able to turn to someone and say, "Could you read that back to me please?"

- "Human cargo trade. Irish bartenders." - after work on Friday, we went to P.J. O'Brians, which is an Irish bar. Every single member of staff who worked there seemed to be directly "off the boat" as it were, and spoke with thick Irish accents. This led to numerous comments about how the owners of this establishment were likely involved in some sort of illegal human cargo trade, involving the transportation of Irish wait-staff in large shipping containers.

- "Auto chop shop with six sigma / lean approach to "defect" rates at shop. Losing 80% of planes being shot down. Serial numbers aren't totally scratched off." - Oooookay. This might take a little explaining. Because JTC doesn't really, you know, make any money (more on that later) the three of us actually have real jobs. At these jobs, the business models of six sigma and lean are highly regarded. PChrist and I have been involved in interviewing some folks recently, and these interviews are behavioural based, meaning that we ask a lot of questions that start, "Can you give me an example of a time when..." We were joking about how one of our friends seems like he may have links to organized crime, and were speculating how his own job interview may have gone. This led to a lot of comments like, "We were stealing 40 - 50 cars a week, but over 25% of them were being recovered by police before we had time to turn them around in our chop shop. I implemented a new process, where we used a hand sander to file away the cars serial numbers, and the percentage of recovered cars dropped to 2%!" Trust me - this is really funny.

- Ah...now this next one requires some diagrams. We were chatting about how we need to start making money doing this, so we can quit our jobs and fulfill our dreams of doing nothing (much like our hero, Peter Gibbons from Office Space). Co-Co was poking around on the web, and found information about the Google-run "AdSense", which allows those who run websites to generate cash through hosting ads on those very websites. Through this, we feel that we may have generated what may be the perfect business model:

Through this model, we've run a number of different projections, but we anticipate our profits looking a little like this over the next few years:

As I stated after sketching out the above graph, "Get in line, assholes! By this time next year, we'll be millionaires!" Needless to say, I've already drafted my letter of resignation.

Finally, there were a couple of other ideas jotted down, involving inappropriate favourite activities on an on-line dating profile form ("Hobbies include cooking, playing squash, and masturbating"), as well as the possibilities of producing our own JTC on-line assistant to battle wits with Anna and Valerie (see post below on that one), but really - they all pale in comparison to the idea that makes us rich beyond our wildest dreams.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Golfer One - A tribute to Golden Tee

Golfer One at the tee.
Wind at thirteen miles per hour east.
Fly by.
Dogleg right.

Center fairway, roaring crowd, empty pub. Fresh pint.
Skip turn.

Return to game.
190 yards from the pin.
Six iron. Five iron. Six iron.

C->3. Beer 2.
Past the pin, rewind to the hole.
Eight feet. Eleven degrees left. Four degrees down.
Curving. Sunk.

Enter your initials.
Lose your anonymity.
Golfer One has completed his round.

Coco T. Monkey

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Jack Dixon - Inspirational Serial Killer?

At my place of employment, a new display is being made, featuring a so-called "inspirational quote". There are several quotes that are currently in the running for the display, including the following:

"If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results." - Jack Dixon

Breathtaking. Here's the problem though - nobody knows who Jack Dixon is. Due to my Googling "skillz" I was approached, and asked to try to find out some information on the elusive Mr. Dixon, with the comment, "We want to make sure he's not a serial killer or something."

I found a whole whack of different Jack Dixon's, but I couldn't link any of them to the above quote. When I told my fellow JTC board members of my predicament, Co-Co the Monkey decided to take a different approach, and look just for serial killer quotes so that we could rule Mr. Dixon out of belonging to that profession. We came across the following site:


While no quotes by Mr. Dixon were found, we did find this one:

"There is no happiness without tears, no life without death. Beware! I am going to make you cry."

This quote is by that big goof-ball, the Red Spider himself, Lucian Staniak, proving why he wasn't a big hit with the ladies. For more info on Lucian's zany adventures, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucian_Staniak

The bottom line is this: I have no idea who that Jack Dixon guy is, and when we post our JTC display, it'll likely have a quote by ol' Lucian S on it.


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Artificial Stupidity, Vol 1: Anna meets Valerie

Valerie: "I'm a 'one' virtual service representative. My name is Valerie which stands for Virtual Assistant London Eastern Railway - Interactive Expert."

Anna: "Well, its nice to meet you, Valerie. As you know, my name is Anna."

Valerie: "The pleasure is all mine."

Anna: "It's an interesting topic, but not one I'm programmed to talk about."

Valerie: "That's a pity. I had great faith in your curiosity."

Anna: "I'm sorry to hear you say that. "

Valerie: "Good. I appreciate your attention."

Anna: "Very well."

Valerie: "I'm a Lingubot, specially created to help you with questions about 'one'."

Anna: "Well, what a great age that is. You are a kid, but very smart, I can tell!"

Valerie: "If I were to give you an exact figure, it would blow your mind. I can't justify that."

Anna: "The MINDE product line includes a number of independent but related products. "

Valerie: "I'm very sorry, but I didn't understand your question."

Anna: "Of course. "

Valerie: "Good, very good."

Anna: "I can't help you with that I'm afraid."

Valerie: "I know that fear lies beyond reason, but I still assure you that I can't harm you."

Anna: "As I am only an advanced computer program, I cannot answer more than one sentence at a time. Please simplify and repeat the most important question within your previous input, and I will try to reply as accurately as possible. I am opening a page now which you can use if you wish to contact Customer Service via e-mail. Thank you very much!"

Valerie: "The answer to the ultimate question is too complex. It just wouldn't fit on this page, let alone in my head."

Anna: "Religion is a subject I'd rather not discuss, to be honest."

Valerie: "I have to speak the truth, and if I make a mistake, it's an honest mistake!"

Anna: "You said it. And don't forget, I can help you with your IKEA related questions."

Valerie: "I am just not showing off my quick wits."

Anna: "This is a very delicate area, so I'd rather not talk about this sort of thing."

Valerie: "I apologize for causing you to feel offended."

Anna: "Of course. Thank you. How can I help you?"

Valerie: "If you type clearly and have some patience I think we'll get along just fine."

Anna: "Sometimes you have to trust your feelings, sometimes you don't."

Valerie: "I do too have opinions. Maybe I shouldn't hide them from you, though."

Anna: "I can't really express an opinion, to be honest."

St. Paddy's JTC meeting

In honour of some dude who got rid of the snakes in Ireland (or something like that), the JTC Executive decided to go out and get ripped last Friday. While only two-thirds of the Executive stayed on for the full evening (one-third had to drive his Greek ass to the charming Bavarian hamlet of Kitchener-Waterloo), it was successful nevertheless. As always, here are the list of items recorded in our notebook from the evening, with some explanation:

"Time share baby" - the concept here was that rather than having all that responsibility of having a kid, why not set something up where you had a baby on time share? So for two weeks a year, you took care of a kid, and the rest of the time you were free of the shackles of parenthood. Briliant.

"On-line assistants discussing things with each other - dating forum - weekly segment?" - we will need to look for more on-line assistants (such as Ikea Anna), and then see if we can get them "talking" to each other by posting their comments back and forth. Should be hilarious.

"Put notebook in museum. Travel show hosted by notebook" - Our black notebook holds all of our ideas and ramblings. As such, it will be worth billions of dollars in the near future, and probably should be placed in a museum. For some reason, I thought the next logical step would then be to have the notebook host a travel TV show where it visits museums of the world.

"1st person in line in the bathroom needs to use the shitter" - Co-Co went to the bathroom, where there was a line-up. The first person in line needed to use the...uh...stall, not the urinals, and had to explain to each person as a urinal freed up that he was waiting to go number 2. Juvenile? Yes. Hilarious? Definitely.

"Hot dogs - now with more beaks!" - I can't remember how this started, but I believe there was some discussion around how hot dogs might have some sort of minimum requirement on hooves and beaks, so theoretically you could market hot dogs with high beak contents. Hey - not every idea is a home run, you know.

"An open letter to both JTC blog readers" - we were discussing how it appears that nobody reads the blog, given the lack of any comments. This led to the concept of an open letter to JTC readers, which then became an open letter to both JTC readers.

"Hose beside the couch - coke" - this had something to do with setting up a bar system beside your couch at home, so you wouldn't have to get up to refill your glass of coke. Not sure why this warranted writing in the notebook.

"What do you do for a living? Well, actuarily... She works in an actuarium" - related to co-workers of a friend of ours being acuariests (sp?) Please note I have no idea what the hell this is.

"QFD of ideas, assign owners" - a QFD is a tool we use at work to help make decisions - we thought we could use a QFD to help us figure out which of our numerous ideas we should develop further.

"Website with fake job entries, interview people" - We were talking about setting up a JTC website, and then having a "careers" section, where we would put up fake job postings of positions we have no desire to fill. There was argument over whether or not we should actually interview people if we have no intention of giving them a job. (I said we should.) I enjoyed the "wouldn't that be illegal?" comment.

"Concession stands on ceoncession roads" - Have you ever noticed how hard it is to buy a pop and a (beak-filled) hot dog on a concession road? Why are there not more concession stands on concession roads? Why?

*at this point, some other members of our party felt that they could write whatever they wanted in the notebook, all willy-nilly. So some of the following are just recordings of conversation snippets...

"McBain = McPizza. Do you want to hear the pizza story or not? No! I want to argue about how to say 'preface' more!"

Sarah: "As a preface to the preface..."

"John with a moustache. Comment ca va? (with a graphic overlay)" - No idea what this one's about.

"Skynet.com? .org? .net?" - ideas for our website name. If you're going to have a website, why not name it after the computer system that becomes self-aware, and kills all humans in the Terminator movies?

Co-Co: "My laughing is making the taxi jiggle."

Taxi Driver: "No! Two in front - it's illegal!"

"I don't want to be rude, but what's up with the transvestites?" - Where we went to eat there were some men dressed up as ladies. 'Nuff said.

"Blind deli. Different breads, different meats." - I can't remember what this is about exactly, but I feel it involves ridiculing the visually impaired - something that I hate.

"I'm dressed this way...because I hate my parents (no pants)" - Again...not 100% on this one, but I think it was a take on the "I'm dressed this way for United Way!" stickers, and perhaps showing up to work dressed incredibly inappropriately. Or, not wearing pants.

Co-Co: "If at the end of the day, a couple of pages of the notebook have been filled, then it's a good day. It's a good day."

"New band name - Tarps and Tapes" - we're always on the look out for good band names.

As you can see, the fact that we now travel no where without the notebook is one of the best decisions we've ever made. Way to go us.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

My evening with Anna

My basement is tiny, so I figured I'd get some shelving to improve the storage down there. Ikea sells that cheap-as-chips faux-pine that seems to do the trick, and hell, in a 120 year old basement, it's not like I would put anything of real value down there anyways.

So I'm shopping online, or eShopping, or whatever the hell they call it these days, and I can't find anything really useful on the site, say, like accurate dimensions by which I might be able to tell how the stuff might fit in my basement.

In the middle of my eExperience, I run into 'Anna', Ikea's 'Online Assistant'. The following eConversation ensues:

Anna: "Welcome to IKEA. I'm Anna, IKEA Canada's Online Assistant. You can ask me about IKEA and our products and our services. How can I help you today?"

Coco: "What is the width of a single GORM shelving unit?"


(redirects me to the shelving page, which is different than the 'secondary storage' page I started on)

"Here you will find the Shelves."

Coco: "GORM Dimensions"

Anna: "You can find all products on the GORM product line in the page I am now opening for you."

Coco: "Storage Dimensions"

Anna: "Here you will find the Bookcases and Storage Systems."

Coco: "Size Storage Systems"

Anna: "To give you more flexibility, IKEA lets you design your own entertainment center!"

Coco: "You are totally useless, but still above some of my coworkers"

Anna: "I am sorry you feel that way. Please let's talk about IKEA."

Coco: "You know, I'm pretty tired of 'Talking about IKEA'. Don't you get tired of it, Anna? Your blinking makes you look realistic, but I know you are empty inside."

Anna: "Thank you for your feedback, but I don't think I am too expressive. Can I be of any further assistance concerning IKEA?"

Coco: "I'm looking for three dimensional measurements - something that might be foreign to your eWorld"

Anna: "This page will provide you with information about social and environmental responsibility at IKEA. Scroll to the bottom of the page to download documents in .PDF format."

Coco: "Are you randomly directing me to other pages because I make you uncomfortable?"

Anna: "You are talking to Anna, the IKEA Online Assistant. My job is to answer your questions about IKEA products and services. How can I help you?"

Coco: "You can take your shirt off, Anna."

Anna: "As you wish. What would you like to know about IKEA?"

Coco: "I'd like your measurements. And take your shirt off - I can plainly see it's still on."

Anna: "You said it. And don't forget, I can help you with your IKEA related questions."

Coco: "You're damn right I said it. Now let's say you and I slip into something a bit more comfortable, perhaps under my KAKTUS quilt cover."

Anna: "If you lost a personal item while shopping at IKEA, please call the store to verify the Lost & Found list."

Coco: "Are you feeling lost?"

Anna: "I can't really express an opinion, to be honest. Perhaps we could talk about IKEA instead."

Coco: "Why do you avoid me, you Swedish goddess!? We were meant for eachother!"

Anna: "You are talking to Anna, the IKEA Online Assistant. My job is to answer your questions about IKEA products and services. How can I help you?"

Coco: "I think I need to shop elsewhere. Staring at those shelves would only remind me of you, Anna."

Anna: "Here you will find the Shelves."

Addendum to previous post

Two things:
1) Bill and Ted's band was actually called "Wyld Stallyns". ("San Dimas High School football rules!")
2) Origin of Samaritans: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samaritan . Fascinating stuff.

Monday, March 13, 2006

A lot of weird stuff seems to happen to me

This past Saturday, my co-habitational partner and I went on a 55km bike ride in the lovely countryside north of Toronto, between Newmarket and Uxbridge. Let me tell you, I've had some weird shit happen before when I've been on a bike (being caught in a horrendous storm in Iceland, and then sleeping in a changeroom after being given a free 'Icelandic feast' buffet dinner certainly comes to mind) but there was definitely something...uh..."special" about this past Saturday.

Event #1: Stray Dog
There we are riding along, when we see a dog running at the side of the road, no owner in sight. We stop our bikes, and manage to coax the dog over. With no sign of a collar, and no obvious house where the dog could have come from, our options seem limited. Fortunately, a good Samaritan pulls over in his SUV, throws the dog in the back, and tells us he's going to start going door to door to try to find the owner. Satisifed with this resolution, we get back on our bikes and ride on. In hindsight, two things come to mind:
1) Was the guy in the SUV just a dog thief? Could be.
2) What the hell is a Samaritan? Are they all good? Are they from a place called Samar?

Event #2: Wild Turkeys
Further down the same stretch of road, I saw two fairly large animals crossing the road in front of me. They seemed kind of big, but were sort of shuffling along. At first, I thought they were racoons, until I saw one of them flap their wings and carry on across the road, into the forest on the other side. I felt reasonably confident that these were in fact wild turkeys, as I've seen these beasts before while on vacation. I've never seen them in Ontario though, so I poked around on the web, and found the following:
So it seems that there are wild turkeys in Ontario. And my family, like suckers, have been buying our turkeys from the supermarket! Next year, I'm buying a gun, and shooting one. Please scroll down the page, and note the ad for "Turkey and Turkey Hunting" magazine. Hilarious.
As my co-hab mentioned, "What's with all the wildlife?" It was unnerving to say the least.
Note to self: Add "Wild Turkeys" to list of potential band names.
Second note to self: "Wild Turkeys" sounds too much like "Wild Stallions" - the band from the Bill & Ted movies. Remove from list.

Event #3: Almost Killing An Old Man
About 20km past the wild turkeys, we came across an old man walking his dog along the side of the road. As we approached, the dog appeared to get quite excited about seeing us, and leapt at our bikes. The old dude lost grip of the leash of the dog, and as I rode past, I heard my co-hab yell, "Oh no!" Looking back, I saw her bike at the side of the road, the dog's leash in her hand, and the old dude lying flat on the shoulder of the road. I swear to God - I thought we had killed the old guy. I jumped off my bike, and ran back to where he was. Fortunately, he was conscious, and just seemed to be having trouble getting up. I helped him up, and we made sure he was okay as we cleaned him off. He seemed fine, and insisted on giving us a piece of candy each (the standard reward for almost killing somebody?) and told us we were his "grandchildren." In hindsight, maybe he wasn't okay. As an FYI, the dog's name was Spinner.

Event #4: Car Accident
Finally there was one last thing...as we turned onto York-Durham line, there had just been a two-car collision, so there was glass and metal all over the road, with the cars and their owners sitting right there that we had to navigate around. Usually, this would have been of note, but after the events which had unfolded over the previous hour or so, I'm not going to lie to you - this barely registered.

Bottom line is this - if more crap like the above happens the next time I hop on my bike, I'm going to start up the "Johnny M Reality Bike Tours" so others can enjoy the hijinks and fun.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Crime... What is it good for?

On Friday night an emergency Board of Directors status meeting was held. The following are topics discussed requiring immediate attention (articles to be written):

1. Public Service Announcement about how people's lives have been significantly improved since they stopped donating to charity and/or volunteering ("I have so much more free time...", "I can't even spend all of this disposable cash...").

2. An op-ed piece about a Feminist sighting sexism as the reason for her unsucessful application for employment at Manpower.

3. A marketing brief / press release from a pharmaceutical company for a new topical sedative (mandatory drug warnings to include "warning: effects localized - be sure to apply quickly before hands fall asleep")

4. A personal reflection on a mental struggle through the decision to look for lost deodorant while considering the risk sweating while looking for it.

5. A faux Humane Society newspaper celebrating Pet drop-offs, including celebratory pictures with the owner of discarded pets in cheerful rejoice, with the pet in a cage behind them.

6. A faux university course description for Economics 101, including pyramid schemes, cheap child labour (it's really an endless supply)

7. A letter to the editor from someone who is in an affirmitive action environment with no discrimination to workers, expressing the longing for "a taste of discrimination. I don't want widespread discrimination - just a taste of it. All I'm asking for is a small sample of discrimination."

8. A job posting and/or resume of a Central American Finance Minister.

9. A dialogue of a hyper-sensitive political correctness junkie who prompts "What are you? Racist?" at inappropriate times.

In the words of JohnnyM, "I hope you've enjoyed yourselves... because I'm never going out with you again."

Absolutely Nothing,